Buying stuff in actual shops in Singapore can be so expensive you have to take out a bank loan just to buy a pair of flip-flops. Okay, I exaggerate, but $50 for rubber slippers that look like the blue and white Tai Sing ones your grandfather wears is not far from the truth.
Instead of paying prices inflated by Singapore land rental costs for stuff that everyone else already owns because Singaporeans shop so damn much, have a browse at a flea market instead and pick up some good deals or at least have a couple of interesting conversations.
Here are, in our opinion, the 5 best flea markets in Singapore.
1. Sungei Road Thieves Market
This is Singapore’s most authentic flea market, in that many of the items on sale contain actual fleas. Jokes aside, the Sungei Road Thieves Market has achieved cult status in Singapore, especially as it is slated to disappear in a couple of years when the area falls prey to the inexorable march of redevelopment. The stallholders are mostly senior citizens who have been hawking everything they can get their hands on for decades. Whether you’re looking for computer spare parts from the 90s, vintage sunglasses or stolen road signs, you’re sure to find something similar at this market.
Where? Sungei Road between Jalan Besar and Rochor Canal Road
When? 1pm to 7pm every day
2. Flea For Good
This flea market in the Farrer Park area donates $10 from the rental of each booth to the Singapore Children’s Society. Booths sell a mixture of second hand and new items, and there are also a few artist vendors sprinkled into the mix. A down-to-earth neighbourhood flea market with a laid back vibe.
Where? City Square Mall
When? 2 to 9pm every last weekend of the month except June
3. Public Garden
Whether you’re after vintage telephones, indie magazines or quirky doorknobs, Public Garden will satisfy your inner hipster. The often wonderful collection of items on sale is fun to browse, and the markets are incredibly popular, so be prepared to elbow your way through the crowds.
When? Certain weekends
4. China Square Central Flea Market
This is not a market where you’ll find moth-eaten t-shirts selling for $1. Many of the market’s most prominent vendors sell collectable toys, antiques and curios. If you’re looking for antique coins, records or old comic books, you’ve come to the right place.
Where? China Square Central
When? Sundays, 11am to 6pm
5. MAAD – Market of Artists and Designers
Held at the distinct Red Dot Design Museum, MAAD isn’t just a market. It’s a showcase of the works of Singapore’s artistic community, and you’ll find art prints, one-of-a-kind garments and handmade accessories.
Where? Red Dot Design Museum
When? Selected Fridays, 5pm to 12 midnight
Which are your favourite flea markets in Singapore? Share with us in the comments.